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Annual KOA Convention Slated for Savannah

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October 15, 2010 by   Leave a Comment

KOA CEO Jim Rogers

KOA CEO Jim Rogers

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) owners from throughout North America will be gathering in Savannah, Ga., Nov. 7-10 for KOA’s Annual International Convention — an event that will feature presentations from nationally known customer service experts — and, as usual, plenty of fun.

“Getting together each year to learn and exchange great ideas is a big reason to be a KOA franchisee,” KOA CEO Jim Rogers stated in a news release. “No matter what you may be facing as an owner, it’s almost certain that you’ll be able to find another KOA owner who has experienced — and solved — the same issue.”

The 2010 KOA Convention is being held at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa.

One of this year’s featured speakers, Fred Reichheld, founder of Bain’s Loyalty Practice and author of “The Ultimate Question — Driving Good Profits and True Growth,” pioneered the business concept of “Net Promotor Scores” (NPS) wherein customers are asked their intent to return to a business, or refer that business to other customers.

This summer, for the first time, KOA owners have been supplied with Net Promoter Scores from their campers based on immediate results from “rate your stay” surveys. The scores and the surveys help owners identify and deal with service issues as they happen.

Also set to speak are customer service expert Ruby Newell-Legner and Carrie Stolar, a noted authority on combating childhood obesity and “nature deficit disorder.”

In a new convention event intended to give back to the host community, KOA owners will grab their shovels and boots for two “green” community projects — the first being to help develop wetlands trails along the Georgia coast, the second to deposit oyster shells in oyster beds to improve habitat.

“We want to demonstrate in a very real way KOA’s commitment not just to sustainable camping practices, but we want to give back to the communities we visit,” said KOA President Pat Hittmeier.

Also on the convention agenda is KOA’s popular KOA Workamper Job Fair, where KOA work campers from throughout North America will be able to meet one-on-one with prospective KOA owner/employers.

On Nov. 8-9, KOA owners and staff will attend several learning sessions covering topics such as lodging best practices, social marketing for their campground, implementing sustainable “green” practices on campgrounds and e-mail marketing, to name just a few.

Nov. 10 — the last day — features the KOA Expo at which hundreds of campground suppliers and vendors work with KOA owners to gear up for the 2011 camping season with exhibits of everything from KOA Lodges to store supplies. That evening will end with the annual KOA Care Camps Auction.

Each year, KOA owners support KOA Care Camps for children with cancer through a variety of fundraising events including the annual Convention Auction. Funds raised through the auction go directly to send children with cancer to one of 44 specialized summer camps throughout North America.

“This event is always a highlight of every year,” said Rogers. “It’s a great way to wrap up the summer camping season and get ready for both snowbird camping and the 2011 summer season.”

2010 KOA Convention Workshop Sessions

Monday, Nov. 8

  • Lodging Best Practices: Company-owned properties share their tried-and-true lodging best practices, including cleaning, staffing and lodging guest satisfaction in full-service lodges.
  • High Tech — High Touch Service — Managing Your Google Online Listing: Take advantage of Google’s tools for maximum online exposure. Use survey information in our High Tech world to deliver High Touch information that results in more reservations.
  • Putting Your koa.com Kampground Pages to Work for Your Business: As an effective marketing medium with the widest audience reach, koa.com can help you promote incremental new business. Learn the top three promotional tips.
  • KOA Business Development Consulting – Making a Difference Out in the Real World: The BDCs, experts in all aspects of campground management, including KampSight training, budgeting, merchandising and online marketing, offer free consulting services.
  • Done Right, E-mail is a Cost-Effective Marketing Investment: KOA’s e-mail marketing program increases deliverability, enhances open rates, catches readers’ eyes, and inspires campers to make reservations. See what worked and what’s new for 2011.

Tuesday, Nov. 9

  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Practices for Your KOA: Experts in utilizing resources intelligently and responsibly help parks reduce their bottom lines and become more sustainable operations. Topics include water, solar and wind energies, and creating natural habitat ecosystems.
  • Dealing With Upset Kampers: Learn how to work with challenging customers, avoid what makes customers upset, and identify what angry customers are looking for. There are visual cues and specific words that work to promote positive customer relations.
  • It Takes More Than Ice Cream to be Social With Your Kampers: Create one’s own social media strategy and implementation plan to achieve business goals and engage kampers online. Measure success and build an online community.
  • Healthier Kids — Healthier Community — Healthier World — Getting Kids Outdoors to Recreate: Learn how to help children become excited about the natural world around them by educating, inspiring, and motivating children to make healthy choices in nutrition and activities.
  • The KOA Green Kamping Program — The Survey, The Progress, The Future: KOA’s Green Team presents the 2010 KOA Green Kamping survey results and the progress and goals of this first-year program. Look ahead to the 2011 program goals and participate in breakout groups.
  • KUTE KampSight User Technology Exchange: This interactive, two-hour session is dedicated to all things KampSight and technology. See new KampSight enhancements, ask questions of the KampSight experts and exchange ideas.
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